Skull Session: Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh's Satellite Dance, Kirk Herbstreit's Buckeye Breakout Picks, and Ohio State Pushes Back Against Counterfeits

By D.J. Byrnes on June 10, 2016 at 4:59 am
Mike Weber brought the muscle for the June 10th 2016 Skull Session
Mike Weber

Friday, baby! Somebody pass the FourLoko.


 LET'S TALK SATELLITE CAMPS!!!!!!! We've hit the point in the offseason where coaches are traveling around the country giving instructions to hordes of teenagers in search of the 2 to 3 unheralded prospects that might be good enough to hack it at their programs.

Jim Harbaugh is using it as a stage for an international tour. Urban Meyer has been more selective in his punches. Both men camped in New Jersey this week, which by Rivalry blood laws means there must be a winner.


Yet somehow Meyer and Ohio State -- which refused to allow coaches to answer questions Wednesday so it could side-step having to discuss Harbaugh -- is playing Michigan's game. 

This entire satellite camp battle between Ohio State and Michigan was kind of like a game, a rivalry, one that was impossible to track in terms of winner and loser. How do you do it? By deciphering which one had more talent arrive? You can't. 

But it's hard to consider Ohio State the winner on this day because it's possible Meyer and his entire staff were doing something they didn't want to do just to keep up with Michigan.

I'm not so sure Meyer didn't want to spend his offseason in New Jersey. He doesn't use nepotism to recruit, and I think he saw an opportunity to help a friend and get a look at the rest of New Jersey's talent. (None of Ohio State's New Jersey players are from Paramus.)

Even if Meyer wouldn't have gone to Jersey otherwise, credit to him for fighting fire with fire and not hiding behind lame excuses like, "These camps make it hard to keep up on my player's academics!" or concern-trolling about possible violations.

Michigan fans are more than welcome to indulge in their June victory; it's the closest they've come to beating Meyer so it's understandable. They best believe come November that Meyer will make Harbaugh pay for this with buckets of his own blood, though. 

 NAMES TO WATCH. The Buckeyes will be a young and unproven team in 2016, which means analysts can prove their worth by forecasting breakout players.

Kirk Herbstreit, who might have a connection or two into the football program, picked his ponies Thursday:

The best thing about being an Ohio State fan right now is you could tab 70% of the roster as a "breakout player" and have great odds of looking smart. Mack and Weber, however, could lead the clubhouse.

(Somewhere in the distance, Bri'onte Dunne shouts, "WHAT ABOUT ME????")

 OK, SURE. Go to an Ohio State game, and you will see a bevy of counterfeit jerseys. Some are atrocious, but others would be unnoticeable if it weren't for the players' names stitched into the back.

Ohio State, always quick with a cease and desist letter, didn't seem to stress the counterfeits in the past because they were drops out of a bucket. That changed on Thursday when the university released a ridiculous "Buy Buckeye" video ad campaign designed to shame people into buying legitimate wears.


The university filed to trademark “Buy Buckeye” as part of a new social media campaign to make Ohio State supporters think twice before buying knockoff products.

There’s no data on how much Ohio State is losing to fakes sold online, in stores and on street corners before games, but even a small amount is a big deal to a university whose branded products notch more than $200 million in annual retail sales.

“It’s a very, very small percentage but it’s a small percentage of a big number,” said Rick Van Brimmer, director of Ohio State's Trademark and Licensing Services.

Ohio State's royalty rate varies by product but the school is on pace to pull in about $14 million on $200 million in retail sales of licensed merchandise when its fiscal year ends June 30.

Here's the thing: You can't shame those who buy counterfeiters because they're only doing it because of the price. Mentioning the lost library funding doesn't register with those people because Ohio State is a conglomerate, and its libraries will be fine despite the lost pennies.

All this campaign will do is make people aware of the bevy of counterfeiting options. (Scientists call this the "Streisand effect.") Unless Ohio State plans on arresting fans wearing obvious counterfeits at games or staging a land invasion of China, a video like this isn't going to change anything and gives its producers a false sense of productivity. 

OSU should simply chalk this up as doing business in the internet era.

 C. SMITH GETS HIS ADELE¹ ON. Get in on Buckeye title odds now, because sportsbooks will slash them once they catch wind that Ohio State grooves to Adele.

Can't wait for that postgame celebration video this September that features Adele's River Lea blaring from the bowels of the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Stadium.

 JESUS OF FLORIDA. People born in the 1990s no longer faze me. I've encountered too many of those bloodsuckers. People born after the turn of the millennium, however? I will burn them with fire should I ever encounter one.

But I pray the first post-2000er I encounter is not Jesus "Little Zeus" Machado, a 2020 linebacker from Florida who is currently in 8th grade.


Even though [Jesus] Machado has yet to step foot into his first freshman class, he is already being courted by Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban. In fact, Machado owns a verbal scholarship offer from Alabama to go along with offers from North Carolina State, Iowa State, West Virginia and Michigan State.

The linebacker from the class of 2020—a classification fitting of a sci-fi movie or a time machine—has become one of the sport's most discussed young players.

"He's a big kid obviously for his age, and he is more advanced when it comes to ball recognition, not just relying totally on his athleticism," Mike Farrell, national recruiting director for, told Bleacher Report. "What I am seeing is football instincts, football technique and actual football IQ rather than a kid who is just bigger and stronger than anybody else. It doesn't surprise me that he's getting offers."

What a lazy-ass millennial!!!!!!

 THOSE WMDs. New fossils strengthen case for "Hobbit" species... Prospective jurors refuse to serve under judge who issued Brock Turner ruling... Scotland's 1996 trip to the Euros went well... The strange tanks that helped win D-Day... Mr. Nobody: The story of Sywald Skeid.

¹ You might say, "Wow, D.J., that's not Adele; it's Whitney Houston." No, it's Adele.

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